Blog of Rights

Gov. Bentley: Veto Racial Profiling Law, or We'll Sue

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:47pm

Last night, the Alabama legislature passed a racial profiling law inspired by—you have one guess—Arizona's S.B. 1070. We just filed a lawsuit challenging Georgia's S.B. 1070 copycat yesterday. We've also challenged similar bills in Utah and Indiana.

Alabama's new law is even worse than Arizona's. The law invites police officers, landlords and employers to racially profile Latinos and others based on how they look or talk, violating the First Amendment and interfering with federal law. The new law would require Alabama public schools to require children to provide proof of citizenship when enrolling in kindergarten and grade school, and require police to demand “papers” from people they stop whom they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S.

It's our hope that Gov. Robert Bentley will veto the bill, saving his already-strapped state from the costly litigation of defending this law in federal court. But if he doesn’t, we'll see you in court, Alabama!

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